Recently I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine, lets call him George, who runs a division in a successful sizeable business. George loves what he does but would like to cut a bit of time he directly spends in running the business and hire a manager who could help him out with the execution.
When he presented it to his COO Larry, Larry – a numbers driven kind of guy – said ok but immediately added that George needs to cut his pay accordingly. Now this may make sense, right? Less time running the business, less pay. Moreover, the new manager needs to be paid something and there is a limited budget. Conventional logic. Full stop.
Wait a moment.
What if we challenged that thinking just a little bit. What are we really paid for in business, as managers or employees? It is more time spent in the office or more value added to the business?
The answer seems obvious. So obvious we often forget about it, particularly if we’ve been in the business for a long time.
Why is it so easy to go down the money for time route? Because we don’t see the value we are adding or have a hard time articulating how it would benefit the business. Like a butterfly who doesn’t see his beautiful wings, we rarely see the value we bring to the table.
Our greatest value is linked to our natural talents and strengths, as we enjoy doing these things and become good at them. Plus, each and everyone brings something else to the table. I talked about it many times before. The trick is to be able to give your talent and skill effectively to others – in minimum possible time. That creates real value.
- How could the fact that you are creative help others on your team to do their job better or the business to spot and seize new opportunities?
- How does your buzzing extroverted nature (and the fact you know everyone) allows for better collaboration and accelerated achievement of the whole team?
- How does your sense of timing and ability to empathise keep your customers and colleagues happy and well served while things get done?
- For whom would your analytical mind and eye for detail make most difference? When and where?
I suggest you ponder your talents and wonder whether you are giving them effectively to others. You may even ask those around you what is the greatest value you give them.
Now back to my friend. George is extremely fast and creative. He can have five business altering ideas before breakfast and most of his creativity comes when he is not in the office. Spending more time running the business actually diminishes his value. If he instead dedicated a fraction of his time to creating new products and initiating new projects – rather than routine business management and client development some else can do better – he said he could possibly triple or quadruple the business within a year. That would not only easily pay for an extra manager (or even a whole new team) but also paradoxically justify that for reducing his time involvement, he should actually be paid more not less. Now that is unconventional logic, isn’t it?
What if that unconventional logic could be applied to what you do? How you could double your results in half time, add real value and enjoy the ride all at the same time?